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Lieutenant Governor Toland Announces Public Comment Period for the Broadband Acceleration Grants

Feb 28, 2022

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland announced the opening of a public comment period for the Broadband Acceleration Grants.

The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD), a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, has opened a public comment period for the state’s Broadband Acceleration Grant Program. The open comment period is part of an extensive review of the 36 applications submitted to KOBD that are competing for $5 million in available grant funding. The public and other interested stakeholders can participate by reviewing proposed service areas and expressing either support or specific concerns about the proposed grant projects.

The program funds 50% of the total project amount, with a 50% match that results in $10 million in total investment in broadband infrastructure projects targeted for completion by October 2023.

“The intense demand for this program across Kansas reflects the widespread need for more robust broadband access in unserved areas of Kansas,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “We are committed to being transparent and making the best possible investment decisions for Kansas broadband infrastructure, and we invite the public to comment on these highly competitive investment decisions.”

The Broadband Acceleration Grant Program is critical to Kansas’ plan to invest in areas that might otherwise be unable to receive broadband service without state or federal funding support. The program was funded through Governor Kelly’s bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program in 2020 and is now in its second funding year.

“The public comment period is an important tool that helps us evaluate these highly competitive and complex projects to ensure we’re making the best investment decisions for Kansans,” Stanley Adams, Director of the Office of Broadband Development said. “Receiving public comment before projects are awarded furthers the value and impact these grant projects make and we look forward to leveraging public input again for this year’s program.”

The public comment window for the Broadband Acceleration Grant is open now through March 8, 2022 (11:59 p.m. CST). Grant applicants will have a subsequent opportunity to respond to public comments received in mid-March.   

To review applications and provide commentary, click here.

About the Kansas Office of Broadband Development

The Kansas Office of Broadband Development was established in 2020 by Governor Laura Kelly to help ensure all Kansans have the opportunity to live, work, learn and compete in a global economy by improving universal access to quality, affordable and reliable broadband.

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas in 2021 was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award and was named Site Selection Magazine’s Best Business Climate in the West North Central region of the United States. Find the Department’s strategic plan for economic growth here: Kansas Framework for Growth.